If and when to worm?

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by adnilee, Feb 8, 2005.

  1. adnilee

    adnilee Well-Known Member

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    We have not yet wormed our flock and have not seen signs of malnourishment or worms in their pellets. Is it absolutely necessary to worm if they don't seem to be an issue? Do sheep get skinny if they are heavily infested?
    We have wormer, just never used it. When is the best time to worm? Our flock has acsess to pature all year. We were planning on worming each group of ewes before we put them in with the ram? Is this a good idea?
    Thanks for any help in this matter
    Adrian
     
  2. Slev

    Slev Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I think a lot depends on what breed of sheep you have, how many you have on what size of acreage. I know of one commercial breeder on the east coast that must worm every month and run their sheep through a foot bath every month. (I don't know if that's the norm out there or not.) But, here in the Midwest my friend worms with the changing of every season. (4 times per year) or more if needed. Remember to re-dose according to the directions on your wormer in order to kill off the young worms the orginal does did not get. Pipestone puts out a real nice sheep management wheel that you can follow. It bases everything from when you want to lamb which makes it very helpful.
     

  3. mawalla

    mawalla Well-Known Member

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    You won't see the majority of the type of worms that affect sheep in the sheeps' poop. (An exception would be tape worm segments.) The worms live off the innards of the sheep and their eggs are what is passed through the bowels and can be found, microscopically, in the poop. Take a poop sample into your vet and have them check it. You may also be able to purchase a do-it-yourself kit but I couldn't tell you where. Maybe someone else on this forum could.

    Waiting until a sheep looks malnourished is flirting with disaster. By that time, much damage has already been done to the digestive tract of the animal and it may not be reversable. Also, some types of worms are blood suckers and can cause severe anemia resulting in death.

    Some types of worms can go into a hybernation like mode inside of sheep during the winter. When ewes lamb it sends a signal to these worms that it is warming up and they begin their migration through the sheep's body and begin to breed and lay eggs. That is why I always worm my ewes before I release them from the lambing jug. And, because worm eggs thrive in the humid area where I live, I worm often throughout the spring and summer months. Those who live in arid areas probably don't have to worm as often.

    It is true, too, that some breeds of sheep seem to be more resistant to internal parasites. But, your best bet is to practice prevention and to have fecal samples tested to make sure that the wormer you are using is working.
     
  4. farmy

    farmy Well-Known Member

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    Mawalla and Steve (or anyone else), could you tell us *which* breeds are more resistant to parasites?
     
  5. mawalla

    mawalla Well-Known Member

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    If you have time for a story, I will speak from personal experiance. Last summer I collected poop pellets from each of my sheep and bagged and labeled them separately. I took them to work to "float and scope" for an experiment that I was doing. I was mainly concerened with the barber pole worm but was noting any other eggs as well. All of my wool breeds had numerous parasite eggs noted but the one full blood St.Croix ewe had none. Zip! Clean as a whistle. All my sheep are run in the same pastures together and she hadn't been given any additional worming doses that the others hadn't been given. It made a believer out of me.
     
  6. farmy

    farmy Well-Known Member

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    Wow!! Mawalla, that's amazing. Do you know what it is about this ewe's physiology or behavior that makes her a bad host for worms?
     
  7. quailkeeper

    quailkeeper Well-Known Member

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    I have read that all of the hair breeds are pretty much resistant to worms. I have barbados and katahdins and have never had a problem. I still worm twice a year though.
     
  8. Slev

    Slev Well-Known Member Supporter

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    farmy,

    Try this link for advice: http://www.sheepwormcontrol.com/topics/topic9.html

    Also, a good close relationship to your Vet. or the American Sheep Institute would be helpful.

    I have Border Leicester's. Of the ones we purchased from a big name breeder out east, they were crap! either from their genetics or whatever, (we sent them --packing) but the ones we purchased locally, we are happy with them. I'm going to be posting in a few weeks about selling most of our lambs from this season, it's not that they are culls or anything, but we are just full right now. (I say this so that when you read I'm selling off a bunch of lambs, no one will think it's because of poor results.) -steve
     
  9. QueenB04

    QueenB04 Well-Known Member

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    Bentonite clay for worming?

    Anyone familiar with this? I use bentonite clay for a variety of things. Good skin cleanser and suppliment to take about once a month to flush all the bad out of your system. Really good for facials! I heard of someone use it for worming livestock. Get the powder and put it in their feed or water and no harm can come from it. I also hear they have blocks for suppliment in bentonite having problems finding that though. Let me know! Alot of times we use vinegar and add to their water keeps the PH in their system up so nasty little things like parasites can't live. Baking soda works good too but good luck getting critters to eat it.
     
  10. shepmom

    shepmom Well-Known Member

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    Farmstead Health Supply, www.farmsteadhealth.com , sells fecal kits and microscope.

    I have American Blackbelly Sheep. (Hair sheep) I haven't had to worm them, but I do monitor via fecal checks. I had planned on getting the herbal worm med from FarmHealth Supply, but it would be difficult to ensure they are all getting the correct dose per sheep-free choice. Some are piggier/pushier than the others. :D
     
  11. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I've heard of using bentonite to bring the rumin PH up but that was to benefit feed conversion not defeat worms.
     
  12. hoggfan

    hoggfan Active Member

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    Catch a couple of your sheep, take your finger and pull down their eyelids and look at the skin under the eyelid not the white of the eye but the skin under the eylid, it should be a dark pink color. If they need worming the skin will be light pink (light infestation) or pale white (heavy infestation) if its white they are anemic and you need to worm asap.
     
  13. mawalla

    mawalla Well-Known Member

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    The third eyelid color check, as described by hoggfan, is wonderful for checking for infestation of Haemonchus contortus, also known as the barber pole worm. That worm is a real blood sucker and a big problem in hot, humid areas. (I have a major problem with it on my farm.) However, there are other types of internal parasites that do not cause anemia but do cause other internal problems in the animal. A fecal test will show you what your dealing with, and if a worming is needed. It is also used to detect coccidia.